Jimi Hendrix’s life-changing advice for young guitarists
Nobody has quite managed to replicate the spellbinding sorcery that Jimi Hendrix could create through his guitar, but that didn’t stop him always trying to help others learn the craft.
Hendrix offered some incredible comments of wisdom at the height of his fame, the same words of advice that undoubtedly inspired others to attempt the daunting task of trying to pick up a six-string despite knowing it would be almost impossible to be anywhere near the talent he was.
However, Hendrix wasn’t solely born with this Godlike gift and, like anything in life, he worked to constantly to improve little by little. With his dedication being his greatest asset in developing the skills that changed the face of music, his mind-numbing effort saw him become the best guitarist who ever lived. Like anyone, there were times when Hendrix contemplated giving it all up when he was younger but his resilient nature prevented him from doing so.
The musician didn’t start his career by playing to adoring audiences of thousands and his first experience with a band was far from glamorous. “When I was 17 I formed this group with some other guys, but they drowned me out,” he once commented. “I didn’t know why at first, but after about three months I realised I’d have to get an electric guitar,” Hendrix once disclosed when asked about what advice he would give to aspiring musicians.
“My first was a Danelectro, which my dad bought for me. Must have busted him for a long time. But I had to show him I could play first. In those days I just liked rock’n’roll, I guess. We used to play stuff by people like the Coasters. Anyway, you all had to do the same things before you could join a band. You even had to do the same steps,” he added.
“I started looking around for places to play. I remember my first gig was at an armoury, a National Guard place, and we earned 35 cents apiece and three hamburgers,” he continued. “It was so hard for me at first. I knew about three songs. When it was time for us to play on stage I was all shaky. So I had to play behind the curtains. I just couldn’t get up in front. And then you get so very discouraged. You hear different bands playing around you, and the guitar player always seems like he’s so much better than you are,” Hendrix then recollected.
“Most people give up at this point, but it’s best not to. Just keep on, just keep on. Sometimes you are going to be so frustrated you’ll hate the guitar, but all of this is just a part of learning. If you stick with it you’re going to be rewarded. If you’re very stubborn you can make it,” the guitar hero poignantly concluded.
Hendrix’s point that talent alone can only get you so far and the importance of mental resilience is one that can’t be underestimated as that was just as much of a key attribute for Jimi as his ability to create magic with a six-string.